- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 13, 2015

At least some good news for the millions who have had their personal information stolen in cyberattacks — the IRS said Thursday that the free credit monitoring the government and companies are offering victims doesn’t count as taxable income.

“The IRS will not assert that an individual whose personal information may have been compromised in a data breach must include in gross income the value of the identity protection services provided by the organization that experienced the data breach,” the agency says in an announcement to be published later this month.

Businesses need not report the expense as a benefit for their own tax purposes, the IRS added.

Computer hacks have struck millions of Americans, including one sophisticated scheme that targeted the IRS itself, stealing tens of thousands of Americans’ complete tax histories, which include very sensitive personal information.

An even bigger hack hit the Office of Personnel Management, with millions of Americans’ background check files stolen. Those files contained extraordinarily detailed portraits of financial histories, personal health and family details.

It’s been standards practice for organizations struck by hacks to pay for a credit monitoring service for victims.

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